Prov. 5:21; 15:3; 15:11; 21:12
If there’s one thing I want all of us to take away from Proverbs, it’s this central thesis: Wisdom is not learning a set of facts so much as it’s developing a relationship with the Source of all wisdom. The very first words of the Bible—“In the beginning, God. . .” tells us who’s the central star of this story. So I submit that it would help us to examine what the book of Proverbs tells us about our Creator, the one who makes both rich and poor alike (as we saw yesterday). I promise you, Solomon doesn’t waste words. If he wants to highlight something about God, there’s a practical reason.
Today’s verses remind us about another aspect of him that we know but don’t think about too often: his omniscience. He knows everything about everyone, past present and future. He knows how many atoms make up the universe, and he keeps track of each and every one of them.
But again, Solomon’s a practical teacher, so this is supposed to affect how we think and how we act. Notice that he doesn’t just say that God knows everything, which would be true. No, he wants us to think about it in a personal way: Our ways are in full view of him, and he examines all our paths. His eyes are everywhere, keeping watch on each individual person. The teacher argues from the greater to the lesser—the Lord knows and understands all the grand mysteries of existence, like life and death and heaven and hell and all the aspects of the afterlife about which we have no clue. Since he knows all that, don’t you think he understands what’s going on in your heart?
So what does it matter? Well, it means that my sins are no secret from him. He knows every little nasty thought I’ve ever entertained. He knows about what you stole. He knows about what web sites you’ve been visiting. He knows about the shady business deal that wouldn’t stand scrutiny in the harsh light of day. You might have thought that you got away with it, but I assure you, you got away with nothing.
But the fact that he knows your heart can be comforting as well. No one knows your heart like he does, and that includes the heartache as well. Your heart is open to him just as much as “death” and “destruction,” and he knows the pain. You can tell others about it, but they haven’t experienced it with you. He has. And he cares.
And please keep in mind the personal and intimate nature of this 24-7 examination. He doesn’t know about you like a set of facts on a computer screen. He knows you. The real you that no one knows. Beneath all the masks and facades, beneath all the P.R., beneath all the fake smiles and keeping up the right image, he knows. Not even your spouse knows you like he does.
If while you’re reading this, his Spirit brings up a specific sin that needs to be dealt with, then here’s another great verse out of Proverbs: “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” I expect we’ll return to that verse multiple times in the next few weeks, because my need for mercy never seems to end. How about you?
Father, you know me inside and out. And you love me anyway. Whatever it is that’s keeping me and you separated, please let’s deal with it.
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